Brochure for Wabash Railway Company, "Excelsior Springs, the Mecca of Golfers," Excelsior Springs Junction, Missouri, 1931

Summary

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. Excelsior Springs, Missouri, became a popular resort town after the late-19th-century discovery of mineral springs there. This 1931 brochure advertises two alternate routes to Excelsior Springs from St. Louis, each taking about seven hours.

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971. Excelsior Springs, Missouri, became a popular resort town after the late-19th-century discovery of mineral springs there. This 1931 brochure advertises two alternate routes to Excelsior Springs from St. Louis, each taking about seven hours.

The Wabash Railway, with origins dating back to 1838, was a strong Midwestern carrier until Amtrak took over the national passenger railroad system in 1971.

Some of the oldest and most fashionable resorts centered around natural springs that were reputedly laden with health-giving minerals. Wealthy resort-goers in the 19th century turned these quiet relaxing resorts into bustling social centers, with sporting pastimes, public entertainment, dancing, and excursions to nearby attractions.

During the late 19th century, the discovery of several natural mineral springs in an area north of Kansas City led to the creation of a popular resort town named Excelsior Springs. Eventually, twenty separate mineral springs of four distinct varieties of water were discovered. Pagodas and pavilions were constructed around them. Excelsior Springs was promoted as "America's Haven of Health." Lodging ranged from family resort hotels to lower-end apartment hotels and boarding houses. Excelsior Springs also boasted horseback bridle paths, "splendid roads for motoring," and tennis courts "always in perfect condition." In town, motion picture shows and bowling alleys afforded added recreation.

Excelsior Springs continued to be a popular resort destination into the early 20th century, a short railroad trip from Kansas City. The game of golf came to be especially favored there. A quaint and foreign game brought to American by Scottish immigrants in the late 19th century, golf became popular for both men and women at summer resorts around the turn of the century. The first golf course opened in Excelsior Springs in 1912, around the time that municipal golf courses were attracting a broader clientele than the earlier exclusive country clubs. By 1928, three more nine-hole sections were added, until Excelsior Springs offered the only 36-hole course between Chicago and the Rocky Mountain region.

This brochure advertises trips from St. Louis to Excelsior Springs, either by rail or by an alternate route that provided motor service for the last 20 miles of the trip and dropped passengers off at their hotel. Either way, the trip took about seven hours. Passengers were also reminded that all Wabash trains to and from Excelsior Springs stopped at the Delmar Station--"a great convenience if you live in the West End."

Detailed Description
Artifact

Brochure

Date Made

1931

Subject Date

1931

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

2012.67.7

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. In Memory of John A. Barrett.

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)
Green

Dimensions

Height: 9.25 in

Width: 4.125 in  ( when closed; 8.25" opened)

Inscriptions

Text on front of double fold opening reads in part: EXCELSIOR / SPRINGS / MISSOURI'S / NATIONAL / HEALTH / RESORT / WABASH

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